A Walker coonhound patiently waits in its enclousure for the fun to begin during the United Kennel Club Winter Classic Coon Hunt.
ALBANY, Ga. -- The United Kennel Club Winter Classic Coon Hunt's daytime fair put smiles on almost everyone attending Saturday at the Exchange Club of Albany Fairgrounds.
It nearly broke one 3-year-old girl's heart. Puppies can do that.
Harley Lugo picked up a black Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix for sale by Thomas Holloway and wanted to take the dog home. She really wanted that dog she cradled. So when her grandmother Laura Reynolds separated the two, Harley wailed the inconsolable cry of a child denied.
It was not to be. Harley went without a puppy from the Winter Classic.
"I hated to see her not get the puppy," said Holloway. "She really wanted that dog. I could have worked out a price if it was too much for them."
Others were luckier. Ragan Cleveland, 5, found his new best friend, Sassy, a lemon-colored English coonhound at the Winter Classic.
All smiles, Ragan was prompted by his mother Jackie Harrell, to say he wanted a coonhound because his uncle hunts raccoons.
While the weekend-night, coon hunts racked up points for the dogs and their handlers, many dog lovers showed their dogs, bought hunting accessories and ate the famous Boston Butt pork offered by Exchange Club members at the Road kill Cafe.
Katie Glisson, of Brooklet, drove five hours to show her American leopard hound, Cowboy Casanova. He won best of breed in the show. Not only is Cowboy Casanova proportioned according to breed specifications and beautiful, he earns his keep by going hunting with Glisson.
"There aren't many female coon hunters. I am one," Glisson said. "It gives me a chance to be out in the woods where no one bothers you. And when you hear the dog go after coons it is exciting."
It was reported that more than 600 dogs and handlers take part in the two nights of hunting. Many more people at the Saturday events said they like to make a habit of coming to the hunt in Albany for other reasons.
"We meet people with an interest in the dogs and hunting," said Blake Hicks, of Dothan Ala. "We've been coming for a few years."
This year Hicks and his friend Joel Selph went home with Hick's new tree walker coonhound puppy.